Questions to the Real Life Superhero Community

From: Echo
Subject: No Subject
Message Body:
Hello Superheroes,
Okay- so my question is: If what you do and who you are is something you’re proud of, why is it a big secret? Why are you hiding your identity if you’re not ashamed? If what you’re doing is charity work, or to benefit people in need, why is it being kept a secret? It seems like people in the “community” are out of touch with reality- you’re not ashamed of the work itself but the lifestyle you’re living that accompanies it because subconsciously you’re aware that you’re too engrossed in a make-believe persona. Friends and family would accept charity work, but they wouldn’t accept delusional behavior- is THAT why you’re ashamed to tell them about it? If it was as simple as “I’m doing charity work tonight.” you should be able to tell friends and family. Men dress as Santa Claus in shopping malls every year, people dress as clowns regularly for birthday parties, etc, and they don’t hide it from their family- so why are YOU hiding it?

From: Nightwolf
Subject: rlsh
Message Body:
I am a real life super hero too. I do the same things that you do like give blood, feed the homeless, etc. but I do have a difference, I do actually “fight” crime. I go look for it, I stop it in action, and kick the crap out of anyone who commits it. I guess the question I have is why do you guys wear masks if you have no reason to conceal your identity? If you do good things like that then let people know that it is actual people doing these good things, not someone behind a mask. you guys are doing the right thing and I do stand behind you. I am looking for more people like me, I wish more people were to think like me and just put an end to the complacency and do something!

14 Comments on “Questions to the Real Life Superhero Community

  1. I don’t wear a mask to hide my identity from friends or family. I wear a mask during public events to protect myself from people who are detractors: those who wish to lash out and victimize members of the RLSH movement–including their friends, their family, their well being, their sanctity, and their property. And of those, there are plenty–with motives ranging from nihilistic malice to jealous unjustified personal vendettas. Some people truly make messing with RLSH a priority in their lives.
    As a side note, most of my altruistic/charity/humanitarian/etc. work is done sans costume–mostly plain clothed.

  2. because what I do is more important than who I am
    the masked figure is a symbol for people that a person with a name usally isnt.

  3. I hide my identity for the sake of anonymity. anyone could be the urban avenger. but only I am the man behind the mask. it keeps myself humble as well because I cannot go to all of my friends and family and boast about the activities I have accomplished. I tend to keep it all to myself because there is no reason to share all of these thing with other people. I also do not want to deal with RLSH stuff outside of RLSH work. when I am at work I do not want to deal with the things I do as my persona there, which could have negative repercussions on my job. it is simply easier to have two separate lives and disassociate the two identities.

  4. Thank you guys for clearing that up for me. I guess I am just new to this whole mentality of hiding oneself. anonymity is not just about hiding I suppose. It’s a symbol that people can look at and appreciate, it’s humility, also… it’s complicated. Keep up the good work people, hope to see some of you my way soon, perhaps we can work together.

  5. It’s about doing good for one’s community while at the same time creating a symbol for others to follow. People do charitable acts anonymously all the time. The masked hero does not want personal recognition for the good deeds they perform, but they do want others to be encouraged to do good deeds. So the masks and costumes create that symbol, and show that someone is doing good without feeding ego. The heroes call attention to causes and draw others to help. We do nothing to be ashamed of. We just want others to step forward and be a part of the larger world.

  6. there is no shame in what we do, we live for others and in service of our communities, our friends and families support us… I wear a mask the same reason I don’t do interviews with the press, it doesn’t matter who I am, its what we do, its the message that matters… I do a great deal of charity work in and out of my gear. The reason I prefer to wear the gear for charity and not just patrol is because countless times people pass by the groups we are helping without taking a second to even contemplate doing a charity act or that there is a charity group there at all… all of a sudden, when I (we) have the gear on people do take notice that someone is helping the community, helping the poor and/or less fortunate, and even if they don’t themselves don cape or cowl, they are inspired to do good even if it is just saying hi or flashing a smile or like us decide to do a bit of charity themselves… its not about ego at all its about advertising for the acts of charities themselves, showing that individuals can make a difference if they choose to… As far as my identity goes, its not a secret… many do know who I am :), its the message I represent that I hope outlasts me.
    At your service,

  7. I don’t hide my identity. There are only two reasons I wear masks/helmets — the protection of my head during activities like powerbocking and theatrical effect. The use of a code name is also basically theatrical effect.
    I don’t get into long discussions of this stuff with many of my friends and family, but neither do I get in long discussions about many other aspects of my life, either. People don’t usually want to hear about things they aren’t really interested in.
    There are things I hide from most people, like my address. That’s because it’s plausible that some disgruntled guy from a message board would come mess with me. It probably wouldn’t be some criminal, either… just some guy angry that I posted a snarky comment about his plan to patrol his neighborhood with a chainsaw or something.
    – EON

  8. I’ve ticked off gangs in both my city and also, to a lesser degree in Minneapolis by painting over their graffiti. It’s considered a “lethal insult” to them. In my mind, the neighborhoods don’t belong to them and their damned “tags,” they belong to the citizens – the mothers, fathers and children walking mere yards past the gangs’ proclaimed “territory.”
    Can they have my city and claim it as their own? NO. I’m not going to let that happen and I’m not sure what that’s going to take. I honestly don’t know how far I’m going to pursue that sentiment. And they shouldn’t be, either. I’m “the Weird Guy who wears a mask…” F-’em. They SHOULD be afraid of the loose cannon who for all they know, is a total nut with no boundaries. Given that I’m out there on the streets watching them, should give them that doubt in the back of their minds.
    If some crazy guy is running around with a mask, I’m guessing they have to wonder if he doesn’t have to play by the cops’ rules. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t. Let’s leave it up to their imaginations.
    These punks already do drive-bys in my city for people they don’t like. Do I need one at my house with innocent people there? No. Do I want them to track down my friends or family for revenge of some diplomatic slight I might cause them? No.

    Aside from that, the charitable work presents it’s own reasons to be anonymous. Do I need thanks? No. Do I need a tax receipt? No.
    I have no prob with the people like Superhero, DG or Zetaman who don’t wear masks.
    Do I need identity? Not from my standpoint. I could be your neighbor. I could be your mailman. I could be your cousin, father or brother. I could be YOU. And maybe people imagine that they could be me. I dunno.
    But to be completely honest, when there aren’t cameras around, I take the green cowl down, around my neck so that even with the hat and glasses, people can see that I’m smiling as I deliver them what they need. It helps sometimes. …Well, a lot.
    I really think that the others made excellent points already. But I hope this helped a bit.
    All My Best,

  9. thanks guys. It helps alot. Hope to meet you guys sometime. I live in Sc, if any of you are in the neighborhood… stop by and lend a hand.

  10. It takes a bit of an ego to think someone would honestly follow you guys home if they knew who you were. Dark Guardian would be dead twenty times over by now because he doesn’t cover his face, something that even I was able to use to find out who he is. I know comic books have told us otherwise, but thats usually not how the real world works. There isn’t going to be some criminal master-mind breaking into your house and cutting up your dog because you busted him for selling coke. Most crooks do everything they can not to get busted which means not adding pointless crimes to their record. That’s just reality.
    Don’t let fear rule your actions. Wear a mask if you want, but leave the boogeyman fantasy at the door, because second-guessing your enemy is what IS going to make things end badly for you. Then again, what do I know? I’m just the bad guy.

  11. Anonymity is a necessary tool for some of us, and a homage to the genre for others.
    Take Citizen Prime, for example. He was a financial advisor for his day job. Now, if you lived in his hometown, and you knew that this was the same guy who dressed up in costume and paraded through the streets at night looking for criminals, would you seriously buy a mutual fund from him?
    If you have a different reputation to maintain in your private life, anonymity is a useful tool.
    For those who choose anonymity because it is the default choice of the genre, you might as well fault them for wearing tights, or a cape, or a mask. None of these may inherently help with the RLSHs core mission, but they are aspects of the superhero that belong to the superhero genre, and it can help to manifest that genre in yourself if you use its tools.